1. How Highly Successful People Handle Self-Doubt

    Think about the last time you felt fear and anxiety take control of your day. Maybe it stopped you from speaking up in a meeting because you felt like your opinion wasn’t worthwhile. Perhaps a simple email took you hours to write because your inner critic kept telling you it wasn’t good enough–that you weren’t good enough.

    Many high-achievers struggle with thoughts that they are a fraud and that they are incompetent, despite a track record of accomplishments. This psychological phenomenon, known as Impostor Syndrome, can show up in many areas of our lives including at work in the form of:

    • Downplaying promotions
    • Declining new responsibilities
    • Assuming you’re not qualified enough for your job

    While no one is immune from self-doubt, it actually impacts high-achievers the most and in my experience, this battle with the inner critic is one many successful people share – yet one we don’t often talk about it.

    The Truth About Self-Doubt

    Fear of failure is a universal human emotion, experienced by some of the world’s most successful people

    Maya Angelou once admitted:

    “I have written eleven books, but each time I think, “Uh-oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.”

    Leaders from virtually every industry have spoken about feeling undeserving of success, including Neil Gaiman, Sheryl Sandberg, Emma Watson, and even Albert Einstein.

    So if you are dealing with Impostor Syndrome, know that you are not alone.

  2. The Secret To Building Self-Confidence Is The Opposite of What You’ve Been Told

    What would you guess people are most stressed out about in their careers?

    One might assume that hating your job, or dealing with the frustration of finding a new one, would top the list. But according to the results of an annual survey that I send several thousand readers of my email newsletter, the most common problem people face is that they don’t feel confident.

    Readers said things like:

    I want to start a business, but I fear looking foolish.

    I feel I shouldn’t have been picked for the role I am in. I feel like a sham.

    I doubt myself and find it hard to ask for what I want.

    These responses are from smart, accomplished individuals. Most of them have advanced degrees. Some of them have earned high-ranking leadership positions at Fortune 500 companies that are household names. Why are they questioning their competence?

    Unfortunately, confidence is an elusive goal for many people. And that’s because we fundamentally misunderstand the way it works. We tend to think confidence is a personality trait, and treat it as a pre-requisite for action. So we put off signing up for a dating site because we feel insecure about our looks, or neglect to apply for jobs because we worry that we won’t be competitive. But the truth is that confidence isn’t an innate trait; it’s a quality gained through experience. So we should take risks in order to build confidence—not the other way around.

  3. Stressed? Try This 1 Minute Self-Care Practice To Regain Control

    The average person makes about 35,000 decisions every day—from choosing an outfit to deciding which seat to take at a meeting. In fact, we make 200 judgments each day about food alone.

    But research shows that all that decision making can be mentally and physically draining. Although the idea of willpower as a finite resource is now contested in the field of psychology, it’s well documented that humans have a limited reserve of daily energy that’s dependent on adequate rest and sustenance. As these reservoirs are depleted, our ability to make sound judgments can deteriorate—whether that means buying on impulse, skipping the gym, or overreacting to a mild annoyance.

    Case in point: Hungry judges rule differently. One study found that judges’ percentage of favorable rulings was highest in the mornings, steadily declining as the day went on. Why? As the day wore on, judges got decision fatigue and needed a break to refuel. After taking a lunch break, the likelihood of a favorable ruling jumped back up again, only to fall again by the end of the day.

    The trick to making better decisions, then, is to figure out how to manage your internal resources and acknowledge your limits. As a human behavior expert and executive coach who is constantly engaged in cognitively demanding deep workI’ve found that one of the most powerful tools for dealing with decision fatigue is a simple self-care practice commonly used to manage stress, called HALT.

  4. 10 Warning Signs You’ve Become a ‘Work Martyr’

    Today being “crazy busy” is a way of life. Americans are taking less vacation time than ever before not only to show dedication, but also to simply keep up with the demands they face.

    This pressure to stay competitive combined with the 24/7, always-on reality has contributed to a well-documented rise in burn out. In fact, nearly 40% of employees say they actually want to be seen as a “work martyr” by their boss.

    According to a study by Project: Time Off, a work martyr is defined as someone who feels a sense of shame for taking time off. They are driven to overwork out of fear that they’re disposable or otherwise not valuable if they aren’t burning the candle at both ends.

    Work martyrs live in a constant state of being overwhelmed, wearing their all-work-no-play status like a badge of honor. In my experience, I’ve found many self-proclaimed work martyrs also battle with low confidence, poor self-esteem, and have a tendency to be people pleasers — putting other’s needs before their own.

    While being a hard worker and team player is admirable, the extreme stress of overworking can turn destructive and harm both your health and relationships.

    Are you a ‘Work Martyr’?

    Do you think your hard work and hustle may be veering into work martyr territory?

    Here are a few red flags to watch out for.

    1. You reply to emails as you see them, no matter the time of day or urgency.
  5. Realistic Ways To Deal with a Passive-Aggressive Colleague (And Still Get Work Done)

    We’re all guilty of occasionally acting in passive-aggressive ways at work. We may use humor to deflect criticism, half-heartedly say yes when we mean no or signal disinterest by waiting days before replying to an email.

    Identifying passive aggressive people usually isn’t hard. They’re the colleagues whose snide comments make your blood boil. Their penchant to shift blame or avoid picking up their share of the workload is crazy-making. Sarcasm, the silent treatment and procrastination are a few of the many classic signs of passive-aggressive behavior.

    This type of conflict-avoidance can become an issue, however, when it becomes chronic and pervasive. Passive aggressive behavior–whether malicious or unintentional or–contributes to a toxic environment. No one is immune to the effects of sugar-coated hostility at the office. Left unchecked it can erode employee morale and contribute to burn out–even if you otherwise enjoy the work you do.

    Shutting down passive-aggressive patterns in the workplace can be tricky. It takes time and patience. But learning to short circuit this unproductive cycle can save you from unending power struggles that leave you feeling miserable. More importantly, you can do your part to stop the spread of negative feelings throughout the office.

    Because the only thing worse than dealing with a passive-aggressive person is becoming one yourself.

    See Beyond The Surface

    When a colleague cops a passive-aggressive attitude, determine how this behavior has benefited them in the past.

    Look for the hidden positive outcome motivating the person to act passive-aggressively.

  6. Feel Like A Fraud? 9 Signs of Impostor Syndrome

    Many high-achievers share a dirty little secret: deep down they feel like complete frauds.

    They worry that they’ll be exposed as untalented fakers and say their accomplishmentshave been due to luck.

    This psychological phenomenon, known as Impostor Syndrome, reflects is the core belief that you are an inadequate, incompetent, and a failure — despite evidence that indicates you’re skilled and successful.

    Impostor Syndrome makes people feel like an intellectual fraud, rendering them unable to internalize — let alone celebrate — their achievements. Studies have shown this lack of self-belief is correlated with anxiety, low confidence, and self-sabotage.

    From a psychological standpoint, Impostor Syndrome may be influenced by certain factors early in life, particularly the development of certain beliefs and attitude towards success and one’s self-worth.

    Let’s take a look at exactly what thoughts run through the minds of people with Impostor Syndrome.

    Do any of these apply to you?

    1. “I’m a fake and I’m going to be found out.”

    People with Impostor Syndrome believe they don’t deserve success.

    They may believe about themselves, “I can give the impression that I’m more competent than I really am” or “I’m afraid my colleagues will discover how little I really know.” They fear being unmasked and having their perceived phoniness revealed.

    Feeling as if they just narrowly escaped professional catastrophe time and time again creates a constant feeling of stress and anxiety that can color all of their work and relationships in a damaging way.

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